This ad will close in 15 sec

Flexible cylinder hone plays critical role for oil and gas maintenance work

Rust, corrosion and other accumulated material can be removed from bores in-house

Small, abrasive globules mounted to flexible filaments are the key to how the Flex-Hone works. It is available in many sizes and abrasive types and grits.
Small, abrasive globules mounted to flexible filaments are the key to how the Flex-Hone works. It is available in many sizes and abrasive types and grits.

In the oil and gas industry, ongoing maintenance is often required to remove rust, corrosion and other accumulated material from the inside diameter (ID) of valves, pumps, piping, diesel engines, motors, natural gas compressors and other large bore equipment. Failing to do so can have severe consequences including reducing equipment service life, causing unplanned shutdowns and degrading performance.

But corrosion – even at the staggering total estimated annual cost of $1.372 billion to the industry, according to NACE International – is only part of the equation. For much of this equipment, critical ID tolerances of cylinders and bores must be maintained to ensure proper performance of everything from hydraulic cylinders used in pumps to big bore engines.

Nowhere is this illustrated more clearly than for two relatively ubiquitous pieces of equipment in the oil and gas industry: reciprocating natural gas compressors and sophisticated pipeline flow meters. Reciprocating compressors require a tight seal between piston rings and cylinder bores to maximize compression while pipeline flow meters require a fine microfinish on the ID of piping to ensure accurate readings.

Gas and air compressors

Petroleum refineries, as well as natural gas processing plants, petrochemical and chemical plants utilize natural gas compressors to pump intermediate and end-product gases in pipeline service or within the refinery.

Although there are varying types of compressors, common reciprocating compressors utilize an electric motor to turn a crankshaft that causes a piston to rise and fall within the cylinder to compress the air or gas. To create a proper seal, piston rings are required. Depending on the type of gas, these rings are made of Teflon, high carbon, low carbon, or nonmetallic materials. As in any motor or engine application, it is particularly important that the piston rings maintain 100 percent contact with the walls of the cylinder bores. Otherwise, performance problems such as compression blow-by and oil leakage can occur, reducing efficiency.

Providing the needed consistent contact between piston rings and cylinder almost always requires honing, either because the bores are not perfectly round, have been damaged by previous ring or piston failure, or due to other wear factors.

This type of work is often completed by shops like H & S Valve Services, a company that manufactures and repairs the component parts of most major brands of reciprocating natural gas compressors, including valves, rods, liners and starters. The majority of that work involves reconditioning worn, undersized or scratched cylinders from 2 to 32 inches and replacing the piston rings.

“If there is a bad seal or the cylinder is out-of-round and you install a set of piston rings they will run unevenly and you can lose compression and reduce the overall efficiency of the compressor,” says Joe Salinas, shop foreman at H & S Valve Services.

In a repair situation, this typically means boring out the cylinder to a larger size and installing a cast iron liner. To complete this work, the repair shop utilizes an industrial hone to get to size and then completes the finishing work with the Flex-Hone, from Brush Research Manufacturing.

Characterized by the small, abrasive globules that are permanently mounted to flexible filaments, the Flex-Hone is a highly specialized abrasive tool available in many sizes as well as abrasive types and grits. Whether for smoothing out rough areas and high points, deburring, edge blending, cross-hatching or removing cut, torn or folded metal, a flexible cylinder hone can be an indispensable tool.

Furthermore, the tool is ideal for field applications because it can be operated using a standard drill and is self-aligning and self-compensating for wear, which facilitates close-tolerance finishing work.

According to Salinas, the Flex-Hone tool was recommended by Sheinberg Tool Co., a local distributor of hand tools, power tools, and accessories. Due to its location and proximity to the Port of Corpus Christi, many of Sheinberg Tool’s customers are in the oil and petrochemical industry.

H & S Valve utilizes Flex-Hones in various sizes to accommodate the range of cylinder diameters and achieve the required RMS finish. In addition, the tool produces a cross-hatched surface, which is integral to ensuring that proper oil retention will be maintained in the cylinder bore walls at all times.

Salinas says that achieving the proper surface finish, ensuring the cylinder is true and that the piston rings are seated properly can keep a compressor in service for a very long time.

“Our customers expect these compressors to remain in production for a long time after the repair,” says Salinas. “They don’t want to be putting in new piston rings every few months.”

Ensuring accurate flow measurement

Flexible hones also play a critical role in ensuring that flow metering equipment produces consistent, accurate gas flow rates and volumes for custody transfer.

For many flow meters, even small flow disturbances inside the diameter of the fitting bore or the straight run piping can cause a measurement error. This includes the viscous drag along the pipe wall due to “roughness” of the ID of the piping.

Since even small variances in measurement accuracy can have a major impact on profitability, metering system manufacturers and integrators use flexible hones to achieve the AGA-recommend microfinish, prior to delivery to the customer.

According to meter technician Frank Curry, the piping used typically arrives with a microfinish rated at 80-90 μ inches (micro-inches) so it requires honing to meet the maximum recommended surface roughness specifications. This can range from 100-250 μ inches, depending on the size of the pipe.

“We hone it using a cylinder hone to make sure there are no imperfections before it is inspected by the customer,” says Curry. “The pipe has to be nice and smooth because if it has any obstructions or corrosion, it won’t produce the most accurate measurements.”

To achieve the required finish, Curry utilizes a two-step process beginning with a coarse grit Flex-Hone, then a finer grit tool.

The Flex-Hone tool is also used when maintenance is required in the field. If a metering device is not producing accurate measurements, the technician will re-check the surface finish in the field and, if needed, utilize the hones to recondition the pipe or remove any corrosion.

For metering technicians like Curry, the ease-of-use of the tool is another benefit, given that to conduct field repairs the pipeline system must be shut down completely until the work is completed.

“Usually we have a window of so many hours to get the work done and they want us out of there as soon as possible so they can test the system and bring it back online,” says Curry.

The Flex-Hone can operate on a standard drill, is self-aligning and self-compensates when it comes to wear.
The Flex-Hone can operate on a standard drill, is self-aligning and self-compensates when it comes to wear.

Company Info

Latest News

Tags
Industry News

Athabasca Oil Corporation announces $265 million Leismer Infrastructure Transaction

Athabasca has taken a number of steps to enhance liquidity to ensure financial resiliency. Early in Q4 2018, the Company obtained the release of a $41.5 million letter of credit related to the Trans Mountain Expansion Project and secured a $25 million increase to its letter of credit facilities.

Athabasca Oil Corporation is pleased to provide an update on its midstream process, preliminary 2019 capital guidance expectations and its recent reductions in corporate costs.

Read More

Tags
Industry News
Pipelines

Cenovus’s 2019 budget demonstrates cost leadership and capital discipline

The structural improvements Cenovus has achieved at its oil sands operations have resulted in reduced costs for maintaining base production and adding new production and have positioned the company to create additional value with more efficient use of capital.

Cenovus Energy Inc. remains committed to increasing shareholder value through cost leadership, capital discipline and safe and reliable operations. These commitments, in combination with the company's high-quality upstream assets and joint ownership in strong refining assets, are expected to further strengthen Cenovus's ability to generate free funds flow and continue deleveraging its balance sheet in 2019.

Read More

Tags
Instrumentation, Systems & Automation

Spring-loaded LVDTs perform in applications with corrosive environments and vibration

NewTek offers customized options for its spring-loaded LVDTs including extended temperature ranges up to 400°F (200°C), mild radiation resistance to 30 MRad, air extend probes and custom spring rates.

NewTek Sensor Solutions offers an extended series of spring-loaded LVDTs that provide accurate dimensional feedback for a variety of position measurement and quality assurance applications including go/no-go measurements, automotive part quality testing, roller position/product thickness control, TIR measurements and material testing under stress.  

Read More

Spray dispenser ideal for applying Sulzer MIXPAC abrasion-resistant coatings

Paired with the unique DPS Spray Dispenser for maintenance and repair projects, the complete MixCoat Spray system includes cartridges containing the packaged coating material, a mixer that ensures consistent coating mix, and the pneumatic operated spray.

Sulzer Mixpac USA, Inc. offers the MIXPAC MixCoat cartridge-based system for a variety of mining applications, including applying abrasion-resistant coatings on pipes and transportation equipment, bores, walkways, and conveyor equipment.

Read More

Tags
Drilling & Production
Industry News

Canadian rig count down slightly year-over-year for November

Baker Hughes, a GE company announced that the Baker Hughes international rig count for November 2018 was 991, down 26 from the 1,017 counted in October 2018, and up 49 from the 942 counted in November 2017. The international offshore rig count for November 2018 was 206, down 1 from the 207 counted in October 2018, and up 23 from the 183 counted in November 2017.

Read More

Tags
Industry News

Thousands of Rotork electric actuators installed at Chinese oil refinery

More than 2,500 Rotork IQ3 electric actuators have been installed at a Chinese oil refinery and petrochemical complex.

More than 2,500 Rotork IQ3 electric actuators have been installed at a Chinese oil refinery and petrochemical complex. Zhejiang Petroleum & Chemical Company Ltd, which refines oil and manufactures chemical products, ordered the actuators for the refinery in construction on the island of Zhoushan, near Shanghai.

Read More

Tags
Industry News

xLC stator adjustment unit triples service life of NETZSCH pumps

In case of wear, the setting nuts of the xLC® unit are adjusted, com-pressing the elastomer to re-establish the reduced sealing line.

The new xLC unit on the NEMO progressing cavity pump from  NETZSCH triples the service life of the pump, particularly when conveying difficult, abrasive media. When wear occurs in the rotor-stator system, the new xLC unit allows the performance of the pump to be re-established by adjusting the preload between the conveyor elements. 

Read More

Tags
Industry News
Pipelines

Innovative solution delivers additional natural gas to eastern markets on Canadian mainline

TransCanada Corporation has secured 675,000 gigajoules (GJ) (630 million cubic feet) per day of new natural gas transportation contracts from the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) on TransCanada's Canadian Mainline. Its North Bay Junction Open Season resulted in long-term, fixed-priced contracts for service that will reach markets in Ontario, Quebec, the Maritimes and the Northeastern U.S.

Read More

Tags
Industry News
Pipelines

Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. announces agreement to acquire Enbridge Gas New Brunswick

Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. announced that its subsidiary Liberty Utilities (Canada) LP has entered into an agreement to purchase Enbridge Gas New Brunswick Limited Partnership , a subsidiary of Enbridge Inc., along with its general partner for C$331 million, subject to certain customary adjustments. New Brunswick Gas is a regulated utility that provides natural gas to approximately 12,000 customers in 12 communities across New Brunswick, and operates approximately 800 km of natural gas distribution pipeline.

Read More

Tags
Instrumentation, Systems & Automation
Software & IT

5 reasons why organizations are outsourcing pipeline control room services

Houston-based Remote Operations Center (ROC), a leader in oil & gas control room operations, provides outsourced control room services to over 6,000 miles of pipelines, spanning crude, natural gas, saltwater disposal, and refined products.

A pipeline control room is the central nervous system of oil and gas operations - continuously receiving and processing tremendous amounts of sensory data, quickly highlighting important information requiring action and using that information to coordinate and control operations to mitigate risks and optimize performance. With heightened public attention on pipeline assets, growing regulatory oversight over operations, increased market competition amongst operators, and an ever-aging asset base, the ability to effectively and efficiently manage all aspects of pipeline operation has become increasingly difficult. More than ever there is a pressing need to ensure each pipeline is operated safely, reliably and compliant with the latest regulations.

Read More

Tags
Drilling & Production

Operators save rig time and improve safety using Churchill's drift tool

Jose Soliz, Vice President of Sales for Churchill's operations in the US said:

Churchill Drilling Tools celebrated a landmark achievement recently.  Churchill's Drift Catcher, run by operators across the globe to secure positive drift confirmations, celebrated its 2,000th run.

Read More

Tags
Industry News

Alberta calls for production cuts to combat oil price gap

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has announced a production cut of 8.7 percent to take effect on oil producers in the province January 1, 2019. – Government of Alberta, via Flickr; used under Creative Commons license

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has announced a temporary slowdown in oil production in the province to try and combat low prices for Albertan oil driven by a lack of shipping capacity to U.S. refiners. That gap is costing the country more than $80 million daily, according to the Alberta government, which blames the troubles largely on the federal government's inability to move pipeline construction forward.

Read More